198) Don’t Pry

The start of any relationship begins with getting to know someone. This process involves a completely un-orchestrated volley of asking questions, listening, and asking more questions.

Although this is important to developing solid networking relationships, you should not endeavor to get any more information than they are willing to give. The extent to which others let themselves be known is personal to them. Some things they freely share. On other things, they are a tad more guarded. Respect those boundaries. Don’t press. Don’t pry.

Yes, great relationships involve showing that you’re interested in knowing others. But great relationships also involve others liking and trusting you. So, when you sense you’ve overstepped your bounds, back off and casually take your inquiry in another direction.

When you do, you’ll continue to learn about them and at the same time quietly build the extent to which they like and trust you.


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197) A Million Dollars Is Hanging In The Balance

How would you conduct yourself if a million dollars were hanging in the balance? In other words, if you knew that a contact or business encounter would lead to a seven-figure payday, how would you act? What would you say? Who would you be?

You’d certainly be professional and on time. You would be attentive, courteous, and reverent. In short, you’d put forth the very best version of yourself.

Guess what? In every moment of every day and with every encounter, a million dollars is hanging in the balance. It’s true. That meeting with the new client? Absolutely. The vendor making a delivery? You bet. That “cold” call that interrupts your day? Yep!

You see, with every encounter you’re dealing with at least one other. And that “one other” knows countless more. Over time, this builds to a very real potential of a seven-figure payday. So, act accordingly. A millions dollars is hanging in the balance.


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196) Would You Stop?

In his book, “No One Gets There Alone” author Dr. Rob Bell poses an insightful question: “Would you stop?”

To elaborate, after a grueling one-mile, open-water swim, Bell was 32 miles into the biking portion of a triathlon when his back tire blew out. With neither the equipment nor ability to affect a repair, his race seemed to be over.

Then two competitors stopped, sacrificing their standing in the race, and helped Bell back into the competition. As he raced on, he couldn’t help but ponder, “Would I have stopped?”

That was a moment of great inspiration for him. Bell now not only stops when he sees someone in need, he actively looks for the opportunity. And he doesn’t limit this to athletic competition. It has become a way of life, making small sacrifices to aid others.

So, when he asks others “Would you stop?”, it’s not really a question, but rather an invitation to be part of his team of selfless heroes.


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195) The Place For Humor

“There is no place for humor in business.” If you’ve heard this, don’t buy into it.

Think about it. This attitude serves to strip a degree of enjoyment out of what amounts to the lion’s share of your day.

Yes, some humor is simply not in good taste. Avoid that. But that doesn’t mean you need to abandon humor altogether, right?

Useful humor need be nothing more than a clever comment about the weather, a local sports team or the quality of office coffee. And any of these will ease the general tension of a professional environment.

Remember, humor reminds others that you’re human. It is something with which anyone can identify. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to dislike someone who has made them laugh or is genuinely laughing at something funny.

So, don’t be afraid to yuk it up in business.


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194) Houston … We Have A Problem

“Houston … We have a problem.” In April 1970, James Lovell uttered these words following an explosion aboard Apollo 13. His journey to the surface of the moon was over. His life was literally on the line.

What lay ahead was nothing but adversity and uncertainty.

But in that moment, Lovell wanted to know if his shipmates were content with letting fate determine their destiny or whether they were committed to controlling the course of their lives. So, he asked them “Gentleman, what are your intentions?”

The crew of Apollo 13 responded. Using ingenuity, they guided the crippled Apollo 13 successfully back to Mother Earth.

While your situation may never be anywhere near as dire as that of Apollo 13, you will face adversity. In these moments, What Are Your Intentions?

Just as with the crew of Apollo 13, commit to control the course of your life. If you do this, no matter your situation, there is no doubt that you will have a safe landing.


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193) The Power of Praise

According to David Dunn, author of “Try Giving Yourself Away” … “The person who praises another enriches themselves far more than the one praised. To praise is an investment in happiness.”

This is so true. You see, whenever you praise another (whether publicly or privately … whether formally or informally) you share a little bit of yourself. After all, you’ve taken the time to notice someone’s efforts and then more time to make a point of recognizing them.

And, yes, people appreciate being recognized for the value they bring to the world. Whether it’s a job well done, an act of kindness or whatever, when you take the time to praise someone, the joy you provide them seems to grow and radiate back over to you. It’s like a wonderful, but mysterious, quirk of nature.

You don’t need to fully understand this works. Knowing it works is enough. With this insight, go find someone and praise them.


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192) Use The F Word

You aren’t perfect. And neither are the people around you. As such, it’s only a matter of time before someone, somehow creates hardship for you. Some will be big, other small and many transgressions lay somewhere in between.

Whatever the case, in these moments what do you do? Simple. You’re best to quickly use the F-word. No, not that F-word. The appropriate F-word is forgiveness. Take hold of your emotions and quietly allow any malice or resentment built inside you to quietly subside.

No, this is not easy. In fact, it can at times be hard. But when you forgive, you can move forward without a lingering grudge zapping your energy or distracting your focus.

Plus, this is a great way to build trust within your network. You see, when you forgive, people become comfortable dealing with you. They know that you will eventually look past their occasional errors and shortcomings.

Use the F word.


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191) Tomorrow Is Never Promised

Domenic Romanelli, boys’ soccer coach for the seven-time state champion St. Francis DeSales high school, drills this notion into his players: “Tomorrow is Never Promised.”

He encourages them to set lofty goals and work hard to achieve them. But then he reminds them that no matter what, nothing is for sure.

  • They might be better prepared, but a bad stretch could turn the whole game.
  • They might have the better team, but a fluke goal could end the season.
  • They might be incredibly fit and yet an unfortunate misstep could end a career.

Tomorrow is never promised. But this mantra is not limited to the soccer pitch.

In life, there are no guarantees either. Have hopes, dreams and aspirations and work tirelessly to achieve them. However, always remember that sometimes fate has its own plan and that there is always the potential for outside forces to intervene. Tomorrow is never promised.


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190) Say It With A Smile

The most powerful thing you have to offer the world is simply your smile. It’s true.

Your smile can light up a darkened mood. It can lift a heavy heart. It has the energy to move an entire room. It really can! You can do so much good with your smile. Nothing else about you has this power.

Knowing this, be sure to meet any and every connection with a smile. As you approach someone, it’s your smile upon which they will fixate. When talking to someone on the phone, believe it or not, they can hear your smile. When you send an e-mail, somehow your smiling demeanor comes through too.

So, make smiling a habit. This is the best way to ensure that your initial contacts become lasting relationships.


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188) Interest In Others Equals Interest In You

No doubt, you have an interest in getting to know those who have an interest in you. Right? It’s simply human nature.

Knowing this, you should make this notion work in your favor. To do so, acknowledge those around you. Make eye contact. Smile. Say hello.

You see, when you acknowledge those around you, they’ll want to get to know you that much more.

When you acknowledge those around you, you make them feel important and from this they cannot help but like you.

And when you acknowledge others, they become more comfortable around you and, in the process, become more trusting.

So, make it a habit to greet everyone you encounter with eye contact, a smile and a friendly hello. From this, they’ll perceive you as being outgoing and friendly, which is just the type that everyone wants in their network.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.